The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard – A Review

The Shadow (The Florentine, #2)The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Florentine Series, #2

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense

 

I finished reading The Shadow, in one sitting, for the second time yesterday. It was even better the second time – and that’s saying something, since I thought it was perfect a month ago. Seeing the tears glistening in my eyes, my soulmate asked me how I felt. This is how the conversation went:

“Oh, my God, this book is so, so good.”
“What made it so good?”
“Everything.”
“Could you be a bit more specific?”
“I’m not sure. Nothing I could say would do it justice.”
“Why are you crying?”
“It’s what readers do when a story is so perfect it’s etched in your heart forever.”

So here I sit a day later, trying to write a decent review for my very favorite author. I’m not sure I’m worthy of paying adequate tribute to his work, except to say that when I read anything he writes, I am filled with a sense of being truly alive. Every sense is sharpened. I live and breathe the lives of his characters; absorb the mystery of their world; appreciate art I’ve never seen; hear music as if it were my first time. I fill my lungs with the air of the Italian countryside, hear the hushed conversations in the Uffizi Gallery, and feel the heat of every moment he so lyrically describes.

The Shadow, #2 in the amazing Florentine Series, has the remarkable characteristics of every great love story – be it Dante and Beatrice or Romeo and Juliet, the skillfully crafted tale of Raven and William, the Prince of Florence, has everything you could possibly want in a dark romance. Passion. Complexity. Engaging and powerful sub-plots. Treachery. Betrayal. Secrets. Mystery. Moments of perfect joy, when the shadows are at bay and the two lovers experience the intensity of overwhelming desire, the joy of sexual union, and the vulnerability of intimacy. An undercurrent of suspense is palpable, beating in the background, building steadily; intensifying their deep personal conflicts; highlighting the fragility of the lovers’ forbidden relationship; portending a sense doom, of ultimate sacrifice and agonizing grief. But there is so much more…in the midst of what may seem to be an inevitable tragedy, Sylvain manages to instill an abiding sense of hope. Hope that the forces converging to separate the two lovers and take William’s throne – his soulmate – and his life – will miraculously be defeated. That the lost soul – the dark, avenging angel – will be redeemed. That the heroine’s light will overcome his darkness and they will ultimately experience the happy ever after they deserve.

It is simply a perfect read. I could not have hoped for more from this author or this series. And as always, having read it, I feel fulfilled, if not satisfied — there is so much more to come to conclude this amazing story.

And for those who, like me, may never get enough of Gabriel and Julia Emerson, they appear again — in a scene that will shake you to your core. And, finally, Sylvain teases us with outtakes – otherworldly ‘what-ifs’ – flights of creative fantasy to make you crave the next story…and the next…and the next.

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A photo and quote depicting a scene from The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Photo of David Gandy, with a quote from The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Cover Reveal! The Shadow, by Sylvain Reynard

Photo of the cover of The Shadow, the next release in the Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard

 

New York Times bestselling author Sylvain Reynard presents the hotly anticipated, intoxicating follow-up to The Raven

Coming to passionate readers in February, 2016 — but follow the links below and order your copy TODAY!

Available as an eBook or Paperback…

Synopsis

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her.

In the wake of their reunion, Raven is facedwith a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand.

But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery.

And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Pre-Order Links

 The Shadow (Florentine series)  on amazon.com 

add The Shadow to Goodreads

Order from Barnes & Noble

Order from IndieBound

Order from the Book Depository

Follow Sylvain Reynard – Visit his Website!

The Prince, by Sylvain Reynard ~ Let the Mayhem Begin (A Review)

photo of the Florence cityscape at dusk

photo of the cover of The Prince, a novella by Sylvain Reynard

 Title:    The Prince 

Author:  Sylvain Reynard

Series:  A Gabriel’s Inferno/Florentine Series Novella

Genre: Paranormal Romance-Suspense

Publication Date:  January 20, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Group USA, LLC

Review

The Prince is a transitional novella linking the phenomenal Gabriel Series to the highly-anticipated Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard. The transition occurs on two levels: story and genre, as Gabriel and Julianne return to their beloved city of Florence and unknowingly attract the attention of The Prince, powerful leader of an ancient, dark underworld of immortal creatures who control the city and its inhabitants from far beneath its depths.

The Prince is intent on recovering his most prized possession: a series of Botticelli’s illustrations from Dante’s Inferno,  stolen from him over a century ago and subsequently purchased (as “replicas”) decades later by Professor Emerson. The Emersons are in Florence to celebrate the opening of an exhibition of the series, oblivious to the danger that lies in wait. Believing that Gabriel stole from him, simply recovering the works from the Uffizi will not be enough: he plans to avenge the theft by torturing and murdering our beloved Professor in front of his beautiful wife.  His plans are thwarted when a rival faction from Venice attempts an assassination and a coup, an act of war; but he never forgets. As an immortal with centuries behind him, human time holds little meaning in his world…thwarted twice during their visit, he patiently waits for their inevitable return.

And so it begins…the stage is set for the inevitable conflict to unfold in The Raven, and in true Sylvain Reynard fashion, it begins with a fast-paced, action-packed, suspenseful and often fatal game of predator and prey, beautifully described as only this author can.  The politics and power struggles of the underworld are introduced – full of the usual deception, betrayal, spies, secrets and lies. The Prince is very dark, tormented by his journey from human to immortal being, struggling with concepts of morality that he cannot easily shrug away, despite his darker instincts and powerful anger. His conflict will no doubt prove to be internal and external, making this character utterly compelling. How will the struggle affect his plans for the Professor and Julianne? No one knows.  Will it lead to his own destruction? Not right away. Redemption? If it’s even possible, it’s a long way forward.

Fortunately,  there is also the so-familiar, so-beloved Gabriel and Julianne, with all of the passion, devotion, excitement and tenderness we have come to recognize as their own immortal bond…and “feeling” them together again is a simply a warm blanket for my soul. Thank you, Sylvain, for keeping these beautiful characters in our lives for awhile longer…even if their future is anything but certain. A sense of foreboding pervades every encounter with the Prince as their fate hangs in the balance.

Be prepared for many unanswered questions as the series unfolds. Expect heart-stopping action, breath-taking moments of romance, unbearable suspense against a background of ancient history, darkness and light, good and evil, twisting and turning the story in all directions…as it can only be told by this master story-teller. I am stalking the UPS man, waiting on my copy of The Raven to arrive; but thanking Sylvain Reynard from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful gifts of anticipation and reward.

Five Blazing Stars – highly recommended.

Buying Links

Barnes & Noble
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
iTunes

And on February 3rd…The Florentine Series begins

You can one-click and pre-order today…

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THE RAVEN – BOOK 1 of the FLORENTINE SERIES
Barnes & Noble
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
iTunes

Sylvain Reynard’s links

The Florentine Series FB Page
Website
Twitter

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